The Notorious P.I.G. Comes to Phoenix

We apologize to anyone who read the headline and got excited that Savor Scottsdale was resurrecting their cleverly named pig roast and wine dinner, held in April 2009 at the now defunct Digestif. We're actually talking about The Notorious P.I.G., a new barbeque restaurant on Thunderbird Rd. in NoPo that our food-loving friends can't stop blabbing about.

Understandably, some local foodies have been confused about the restaurant's name. But Martin swears the restaurant's clever moniker has nothing to do with the Scottsdale event -- it's actually a tribute to a dog he nicknamed "The Notorious P.U.P."

"We were originally going to call the restaurant The Three Pigs, because there are three owners," co-owner Dave Martin tells New Times. When Martin added a sandwich to the menu called The Notorious P.I.G. in honor of his pooch, co-owners Marty Schouten and son Jim thought that the name would better suit the fun, informal feeling of the restaurant. We admit it's damn cute.

This little P.I.G.gy quietly opened up on December 7. Given the lack of good BBQ in town (yes, there are some good places, but we don't exactly have the BBQ rep of Texas or Kansas City) we can understand why folks would flock to the P.I.G. for ribs, brisket, fried catfish, po' boys and hard-to-find sides like hush puppies. They also have budget-friendly $4.99 BBQ lunch specials daily.  

The big question is: why open a restaurant in a tumultuous economy? The partners were originally going to start a local chili cook-off team, so Martin dug up recipe books from a barbecue restaurant he previously owned in Boise, Idaho. With recipes already in hand, they figured they might as well start a restaurant. Martin is quick to point out that not all restaurants are struggling due to the poor economy. "The places that are $5-7 a plate are doing really well right now," he says.    

Two new outposts of The Notorious P.I.G. are already in the works -- one at Desert Ridge Marketplace, and another in the former R&J Diner building at 816 S. Stapley Dr. in Mesa that could be open in as little as three to four weeks.

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